Alizada caught the eye of the world’s media after videos of his skills went viral in his native Afghanistan.
He said he enjoys being referred to as the Afghan Bruce Lee and hopes his new online fame can help paint a different picture of his country.
Videos and photos of Abbas Alizada, 20, posted on the Facebook page “Bruce Hazara” show him performing backflips and striking Lee’s famous poses. They blazed through Afghanistan’s small Internet community this week, part of a publicity burst he hopes will catapult him to broader fame.
“I want to be a champion in my country and a Hollywood star,” Alizada said at Kabul’s desolate Darulaman palace, where he trains twice a week, swirling nunchakus and sporting a Lee-like bowl haircut.
At a workout at the palace, adorned with photos of thousands of civilian war victims as part of a protest exhibition, Alizada showed off his wiry physique, doing push-ups on his fingertips and sparring with a partner. Two assistants dabbed his brow and fixed his hair for the cameras.
Alizada is from a poor family of 10 children. His parents could not afford the fees at an academy of Wushu, a Chinese mixed martial art, but the trainer took him under his wing.